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Tuesday, June 29, 2010


I got my hands on 14 yards of the new Michael Miller knits - 2 each of the apple & cocoa ta dots, black clown stripe, lime solid, and 1 each of lime blossoms, pink blossoms, aqua mod blooms, turquoise mod dots, carnival bloom, and Scandi chirp. Now all I need is to get done with my current projects.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Kathie Lee was crackin' the whip

My husband thinks he's funny and likes to make jokes about how Kathie Lee (Gifford - back from the 90's when she had kids in Honduras or somewhere making her clothes for KMart...) is working me in her sweatshop because I sew so fast. I think I was channeling her tonight.

I interfaced everything for the patterns I just cut, finished the Ottobre skirt (lovin' the cargo pockets - the top in the pic is also Ottobre and one of my faves), the Butterick knit dress, and a Barbie outfit from scraps of my skirt fabric. Next up will be the jacket that will match the skirt, but I may sew up hubby's boxers before I start that just so he can get a few more chuckles about the sweatshop.

On to the fashion show...Butterick 5456:

Ottobre Woman - 2/2010 - #15 Debra skirt:
Last, but not least, let's talk about Barbie: (wearing Simplicity 4702) - actually, let's save that for another post...I have so much to say on this topic and it's late and Kathie Lee will be crackin' the whip again tomorrow...)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Cutting Time - part 2

So, here's the final cut list:

In addition to the hoodie & miniskirt that I mentioned in my last post, I also cut out:
from the lime knit with big pink dots and a lime with tiny white polka dots for the contrast. (I'm doing the shorter dress.)

I also cut flannel boxers (from a print with flames and 8 balls) for DH, the McCall's Palmer/Pletch jean jacket and a straight, above-knee length skirt from Ottobre out of the paisley twill. (I had a very small remnant, so I cut out a jacket and skirt for DD's Barbie, too.) My last piece was this skirt from the June Burda Style:

I used a very large pink and white twill check and cut the hem band and the pocket flap on the bias.

Of course, now I'm sitting in the middle of a couch full of fabric, and I'd better start organizing before I go to bed. I don't think I will be up before the kids.

I got a total of seven items cut (for me) plus a Barbie outfit. I think I know what I'll be doing tomorrow...

Thursday, June 24, 2010

It's Cutting Time

I really enjoy the process of pairing fabrics and patterns and cutting them out. I spread my cutting mat on my coffee table and go to it while I watch TV or a movie. I usually have a cut party once every 7-10 days (depending on how many things I cut and how much sewing time I have).

I cut Simplicity 7229 (view C, the miniskirt) and McCall's 4261 (view A, the hoodie) from pink terry with cherry print (Juicy Couture fabric).

I have a white pique knit, a heathered peach Sophia knit, a quilted piece with vintage McCall's patterns in pink and ivory (so cute!) and the lime and hot pink knit above (a Patsy Aiken knit). I am trying to figure out what all of theses pieces want to become (while I eat the fresh peach pie I made this afternoon).

I also have some lovelies in the dryer that are about ready to come out and play. I have this pretty paisley twill from Fashionista Fabrics waiting to be made into M5191 (my favorite jean jacket pattern - reminds me of Coldwater Creek jackets). I also have some other pretties I got from FF, like this pink tweed, pink sweater knit, and knit border print:

Yes, I do like pink.

No false excitement here

July 9 - new Ottobre is coming and the good folks in Finland have put up a preview. So far, I'm excited. I always use the fall Ottobre as my kick-off for fall/winter sewing (at least for the kids). This year, I'll have to do some cute back-to-school themed things for Gracie who is starting preschool! Benjamin is starting kindergarten and Jamie 3rd, Matthew 5th. I'm sure I'll make a few cool things for the boys, but there is nothing like sewing for  a sweet little three year old. She loves everything I make, she's easy to fit, and looks cute in everything. When I get frustrated fooling around with adjustments for my patterns, I know I can crank out something for her for instant gratification.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

New McCall's patterns

I got all excited because someone on Pattern Review posted that there were new McCall's out. So, I looked...

What is this? Are the 80's coming back? Say it isn't so!
McCall's 6164
I think I will be passing on that one. Aside from the 80's, there seems to be a thing with weird hems. Here's another pattern I'll be skipping: McCall's 6165

In case you like 80's shoulders and weird hems, you can make this one: McCall's 6166

But wait! You can also get your kid dressed up in a similar look! Check out McCall's 6155

Now, there are a couple of patterns with potential. I find this jacket (McCall's 6171) rather interesting - especially since it is a Made-For-You pattern with sep. cup size pieces. I still have to grade up a few cups, but these type of patterns do make the adjustment easier since it's easy to see what has to be changed.

I also think McCall's 6176 is a potential winner. I'm just not sure I'd want to see heavy books in it, but the backpack is super cute.

I guess I won't be beating a path to Joann's or Hancock's for the next McCall's sale.

Skirts! (part deux)

I made this:

Of course,  I am not 5'10" and skinny, so here's what my version looks like (on 5'4" mom of four):

I'm really pleased with this considering I don't know Italian and have never tried to match up patchwork madras before. One thing I did that was very helpful was cutting every piece as a single layer. If I hadn't, it would have been a big mess.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I am currently working on La Mia Boutique's June pattern # 7, a short, casual skirt. So far, it's going together pretty well. I'll probably be able to review it later this evening. In the meantime, I stumbled across this: Patty Young Yoga Skirt tutorial. I have some of Patty's knit fabric on order from a co-op I belong to, but I think this skirt would be perfect out of some of my Patsy Aiken knit stash. You can never have too many skirts, can you?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Gracie patterns

Having a little girl named Gracie (Grace Elizabeth), I am somehow drawn to patterns with her name. Here are the ones I have found and sewn so far:

First we have Grace, by Children's Corner. It's a classic heirloom dress that I made up in pink batiste.

My next GRACEful sewing adventure came by way of designer Sandi Henderson (hmm, wonder why I like her name, too?): Portobello Pixie Gracie

This version is reversible, but came out fairly short. She can wear it now as a tunic top.

The final Gracie namesake pattern is my most recent sewing project - seen in the post before this.

Overall, I think the Portobello Pixie Gracie might be my favorite, but I like things about all of these patterns. How can you not love a Gracie?

Shir Madness

I think the look of shirring is really pretty, but so far, I haven't had much luck with getting it to work for my petite little girl. My first attempt was on this Ottobre blouse:


It's okay, but not spectacular on the fit, which led me to correctly assume that shirring a waistband for Miss Tiny-Hiney would be tricky. In fact, given that she requires a smaller elastic measurement than many patterns call for, I decided to use elastic at the waist and zig-zagged three rows of half-inch wide knit elastic onto the skirt's waistband. That worked quite well.

I still wanted to do the shirring for the blouse/jacket part of the outfit. I steamed that elastic thread as tight as I could, but the neckline still presented a problem (although the waist and sleeves of the top are okay).


To solve the neckline problem, I pinned up the excess neckline fabric:


Then I stitched over the lines of shirring where the fabric had been pinned:


The final result fits much better (and the alteration is not obvious on such a busy print):


And here is the final outfit on my girl with her Daddy (the guy who is actually very supportive of my obsessive sewing):


Saturday, June 19, 2010

An Italian Finnish

Having just acquired my first copy of Italian sewing magazine, La Mia Boutique, I had to immediately sew something from it. There was a single, simple knit dress sized for little girls 3-6, so that was the natural choice having the little fashionista to dress. I skipped the binding and substituted foldover elastic (FOE). I like the simple cap sleeves. It gives the dress a little something extra.


Of course, since I had a matching polka dot (both of these fabrics are from Patsy Aiken), I decided to make my favorite bike shorts from the summer '10 Ottobre. I love how these sew up in 10 minutes and keep her little bottom covered in style. She can be a bit of a flasher.


I also loved the little ruffled bolero from the same Ottobre, and found it was the perfect opportunity to use this ruffled knit trim I also got at Patsy Aiken. Sure, I could have done it myself, but why? I have four kids. There will be shortcuts from time to time.


FOE also comes into play on the bolero for binding the neck and making the ties (all one piece). I love that stuff. I have an entire plastic shoebox full of that stuff in a rainbow of colors. It is definitely essential if you sew for kids, but I have found other uses as well.


The baby doll's sleeper has and FOE binding on the neckline. This is one of the best things about sewing for little girls - doll clothes. I'm a girly girl and I love that my daughter is, too. Isn't she a sweetheart with her baby?


Here's a slightly better view of the baby doll outfit. I love the little knotted hat. Do I have to let her have all the fun dressing dolly? This poor baby was sitting around naked for too long. I think it may need more clothes.